Religious sites are among the world’s most popular tourist attractions, and every year, millions of faithful followers make pilgrimages to places of spiritual importance. Holy sites are a feature of practically every major religion, drawing visitors from around the globe who come to see their breathtaking beauty and absorb their awe-inspiring auras. In no particular order, here are eight of the world’s most significant and historically important religious destinations.
Located in Saudi Arabia, the holy city of Mecca is the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad, the central spiritual figure in Islam. Today, the city is a bustling metropolis with a population of 2 million people; that number usually triples during the Islamic month of Hajj, when the faithful make their obligatory pilgrimage to the religious center. The Kaaba, which houses Masjid al-Haram, the world’s largest mosque, is the focal point of the city’s spiritual sites.